Title: Life Support
Author: Nicki Edwards
Series: Escape to the Country #3
Genre: Medical Romance
A piece of you will always be left at home
When emergency nurse Emma Chirnside’s husband dies unexpectedly, she finds herself tangled in lies and secrets. The last thing she expected to receive from him was a heritage listed mansion in her home town of Birrangulla, but with her in-laws causing chaos, she flees to the country, hoping to rebuild her life. Fleeing, it turns out, creates new complications. The estate manager is none other than her teenage crush Tom Henderson.
Tom hasn’t thought about Emma since high school. They’d always been friendly – like Emma, Tom knows how it feels to care for a sick mother from a young age – but as far as Tom was aware, they were nothing more than friends. He had no idea of Emma’s feelings for him, or the way he’d once broken her heart.
When their worlds collide again, Emma realizes the depth of her feelings for Tom, and wonders if she’s been given another chance to find true love. But Tom has demons of his own.
Will Tom’s secrets drive them apart and break her heart again? Or will they both get their happy ever after?
Source: ARC from Momentum Books via NetGalley
On the whole this is another enjoyable change-of-life adventure from the Escape to the Country series, mixing medical drama with romantic hopes and life changing decisions. I liked Emma and I found the idea of Lexton Downs really intriguing, but I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely convinced by the romance – mostly because I found Tom’s behaviour off-putting and occasionally infuriating.
This book is completely Emma’s tale, with her difficulties in dealing with the break down of her marriage, followed by her husband’s death and the move back home to Birrangulla. She’s understandably a bit lost at the beginning, uncertain of where life is taking her and what she actually wants from it. For the most part I admired the way she dealt with the cards life deals her and enjoyed seeing her change and grow throughout the book.
However, when it comes to the romance with Tom, things didn’t quite work for me. He’s an old teenage crush of hers, who conveniently works at Lexton Downs, running the entire business. For me there wasn’t any chemistry between them, and Tom is hauling so many secrets around that his hot and cold behaviour towards Emma made everything between them feel off. It doesn’t help that there are plenty of time jumps in the story where a couple of weeks pass between scenes, in which the pair of them haven’t spoken or seen each other once. There just didn’t seem to be any connection between them. Emma also has her own secret about when they were younger, and I think I expected more of it to come of the big reveal than really did.
Actually, that’s my overall feeling towards this book – I kept expecting more to come of everything than actually did. I would have loved to have seen some of the business of Lexton Downs in action – the horses, the B&B, Tom’s idea for riding therapy. Emma shows zero interest in any of it, which is kind of worrying since she owns the place. You’d never know it from her behaviour. There’s also no mention of all the money her husband left her. There are a couple of medical cases too that I expected follow-ups for, but nothing came of any of them – except a general impression of the incompetence of doctors across the hospital where Emma works. Then there are her deceased husband’s secrets and Emma’s relationship with his parents. That all fell completely flat for me.
Which is a shame, because this book sets everything up so well. I liked all the characters (apart from Tom) and it was nice to visit Birrangulla again. At times the story is deeply emotional and I did enjoy it for the most part. It’s just that it never quite finishes what it starts and sort of tails off towards the end, leaving loose ends to fray and be forgotten. In all this is a solid addition to the series, but I do hope a certain brother’s story will be turning up soon. I’m so curious about him.
Life Support is Out Now!
Visit Nicki Edwards for more details.